OK, so I ran the numbers on using the Russian bomber to attack sz13 on R1 and it roughly breaks down to this:
4 in 7 times (57%) the bomber wins and lands in Gibraltar.
2 in 7 times (28%) the bomber and DD destroy each other with the TP surviving.
1 in 7 times (14%) the bomber is destroyed with no kills.
The end result, among other things, is that it makes Germany avoid attacking sz2, thus saving the UK BB.
The goal of the Russian bomber attack isn’t so much to sink the German TP. The DD is the real target, because sinking it immediately puts the Italian fleet at risk. On G1, Germany HAS to destroy at least 2 of the 3 combined UK ships in sz12 and sz15 because, without the DD in sz13 blocking sz12, if 2 or 3 of the UK ships are available, the UK can attack sz14 with 1 or 2 DD, 1 CA, 1 Egypt fig, and the UK bmb which has a good shot at knocking out all of Italy’s warships if not also sinking the TP before Italy can even use them.
It should have no bearing on Germany’s plans to attack or not attack Egypt, whatsoever. Clearly, Germany attacking Egypt in 50-42’ on G1, sz13 DD or not, is a needless risk of units so the strategy of using the Russian bomber to attack sz13 would have to stand on the merits of the UK threat to the Italian fleet and the preservation of the sz2 fleet.
It is possible for Germany to attack both sz2 AND sz12 on G1 without the sz13 DD, but it’s fairly risky. At best, Germany could attack sz2 with the Norway fighter, sz7 and sz8 SS, and the Germany bomber which leaves the France and Germany fighters for sz12 and, for added security, the Bulgarian fighter for sz15. Sending almost all of Germany’s aircraft on coin flip battles is asking for trouble and doesn’t even guarantee the neccessary minimum 2 UK ships sunk so, essentially, Germany attacking sz2 if the sz13 DD is sunk is out of the question for most rational players and suicidal if the Russian bomber survives and a fighter or bomber is to be diverted to attack it.
And none of this takes into account the possibility that the Russian bomber(if it survives sz13) has a chance to kill a German aircraft before being destroyed or even surviving on the rare occasion.
Another benefit comes when the sz13 TP is also sunk with the DD. It makes an Egypt IC a definite possibility. Even more so if Germany doesn’t sink the DD in sz15 because Egypt can easily survive an attack by Italy with the DD blocking their bombardments, in a pinch the US can reinforce with 2 bombers before G2, most of Germany’s air force will be out of range for a G2 attack, and UK can get the Persian infantry and the Australian fighter to go with the UK2 build of 2 units before Italy gets a second attack. By UK 3, the 3 inf, 1 AA from India, the 1 inf, 1 art from SAF, Russian assistance, more allied aircraft, and probable Allied landings in Algeria would make it impregnable. For the most part, that would take Italy out of the game.
There are 2 downsides that I can see. One is obviously losing the Russian bomber. The second is a bit harder to determine. Is it in Germany’s best interest to attack sz2 no matter what, thereby making it potentially worthwhile to use the Russian bomber to attack sz13? If it isn’t, then there’s no point in sacrificing the bomber to prevent Germany from doing something they shouldn’t do anyway.
Basically it boils down to this: If attacking sz2 on G1 is an ideal move for Germany, are you, as the Russian player, comfortable with the 1 in 7 times that you will lose your bomber for nothing just for the opportunity to put Germany in a tougher opening spot and probably allow the UK to keep it’s sz2 fleet?